Derek Jeter drove in the winning run at the end of Thursday’s Yankees-Orioles game, a dramatic finale to the shortstop’s long career in New York.

The game was already a momentous occasion given that it would be the final time Jeter, a Yankee for 20 years and team captain for much of that period as well, stepped on the field at Yankee Stadium in uniform.

The sellout crowd of 48,613 saw Yankee closer David Robertson blow the save in the top of the ninth, wiping out a three-run lead and setting up a tense situation in the bottom of the inning. But with one out and a runner at second, Jeter lined a single into right field to win the game.

Thanks to the turnaround, Robertson said he “went from all-time low to all-time high.”

After the game, Jeter called the storybook ending “sort of an out of body experience.”

“It was a weird range of emotions. I was just trying not to cry.”

The night was an unusual one from beginning to end, according to The New York Times:

It was a night when everything seemed to happen specifically to allow Jeter to be Jeter in front of his home fans for the last time. The rain stopped, the Orioles pushed the game to the bottom of the ninth by hitting two home runs, a Yankees runner got to second base, and Jeter came to the plate again with his name ringing in his ears. He then did exactly the kind of thing that had made him so adored by his fans.

Jeter was so overcome with emotion both during and after the game that he shed his usual cautious approach with reporters.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “Write what you want and put my name at the bottom of it.”

The Times also reports that the game-winning hit was Derek Jeter’s 3,643rd all-time and gave him a regular-season victory for the 1,627th time.

[photo credit: Keith Allison]